As with many big societal events, lock down seems to have taken on its own identity.  Years from now we will look back on this experience and sociologists will write theses on the many social phenomena it created.  These are my observations of the many stages of lock down so far (we still have a way to go), this isn’t necessarily a linear journey and nor is it terribly serious – feel free to revisit the banana bread stage as often as you like.  However, it is a bit of a social commentary on how we crave structure, contact and the comfort of ‘everyday’ activities to seek solace in a small degree of normality in highly abnormal and scary times.  These stages have become a social shorthand for how we are feeling each day, a lock down language we can all relate to.

Stage 1:  PANIC BUYING

I am emotionally scarred by the scarcity of toilet paper caused by panic buying.  How long will it take for us to stop buying toilet roll whenever we see it ‘just in case’.  Flour is also a commodity now worth more than gold (and definitely oil) I’ve seen Facebook pleas and offers of trades that far exceed its value.

Stage 2: AMUSING MEMES AND CAPTIONS

Oh how we laughed at those clever little memes that filled our Facebook and Instagram feeds – not so much now, it’s just not that funny anymore.

Stage 3:  I MUST EXERCISE

The dogs have gone on strike at the thought of another walk, we are all injured from our new gym equipment and Joe Wicks’ PE is getting really hard.  We started off so keen now it’s all a bit meh.

Stage 4:    I MUST SELF IMPROVE

We have time to make ourselves better, therefore we must.  How many apps do we have to help us meditate, learn a language, do yoga, learn a craft, how’s it going?

Stage 5:  CHECKS MOBILE EVERY 30 SECONDS

It’s become perfectly normal to override my self imposed social media time limits every day, it’s a full time job just keeping up with my WhatsApp groups.  My phone is begging for a break.

Stage 6:  I MUST BAKE BANANA BREAD

I get that baking is homely and comforting but why banana bread in particular?

Stage 7:  THURSDAY NIGHT CLAPPING

It’s now routine, almost a habit to stand on my doorstep at 8 pm every Thursday night to hear the neighbourhood cheer and clap. 

Stage 8:  DO I HAVE TO CLEAN THAT

Hmmm I’ve discovered that there are some cleaning jobs that didn’t get done not because of time as I thought but simply because I DON’T want to do them – the list is quite long.

Stage 9:  HOME SCHOOLING REALLY?

ALL teachers must have a pay rise – this home schooling malarkey is really HARD.

Stage 10:  TIK TOK DANCING AND COUPLES CHALLENGES

Eh?  People are getting really bored.

Stage 11: I AM GETTING DESPERATE – THE WHIPPED COFFEE STAGE

I have a recipe to create my own whipped coffee  – yippeee. *Do it once* I knew there was a reason why we love take out coffee.

Stage Whatever:  I AM SO OVER THIS

Right I’ve packed my bags I’m going – BYEEEEEE

Written by Frankie Uttley, Assistant Manager, April 2020